Two Weeks of Hormones, Needles and Morning Drives

Hello lovely people, it has been a while since my last post due to ongoing chemotherapy and all that jazz. As it’s finished, however, I would like to share something that happened just before the chemotherapy.

It all happened quite quickly. It was busy, intense, and exhausting… but worth the stress.

This is about my egg freezing episode.

 

On a Wednesday in early February, I was told that I would be receiving chemotherapy; so I gave the fertility clinic a call on a thursday afternoon. Whilst arranging a date and time for the first appointment, the nurse surprisingly told me that I had to start the process right away on that day.

Normally you would start the egg freezing process on the second day of your cycle. Amazingly, the day I called the clinic was the second day of my cycle. I guess it worked out well?!

Everything got urgent, all the sudden. The clinic was 90 minutes away, and they were closing at 1600hrs. I only had just enough time to make it there.

I made a quick and urgent phone call to Dan, saying we needed to leave very soon. Thankfully he managed to take some time off work; so after 15 minutes, we were on the road to the clinic.

 

 

Roughly 90 minutes later we sat in a consultation room with a nurse, who was explaining the egg freezing process. Quite overwhelming. There would be multiple self-injections, pills and visits to the clinic.  We came back home with three bags full of things. Moreover, we had to read through and sign on the terms and conditions forms in the evening. Wow!

Since then we made a visit to the clinic every other morning.

Most appointments were at 8am, which meant early starts for both of us. Every appointment included two things: a blood test and ultra sound scan of ovaries.

Every evening I had to give myself with injection and take two pills.

With eggs growing, I was given 2 more different types of injections to continue till the very last stage. These include this final injection to prevent the ovulation, which should be injected 48 hours before the egg collection. Due to the hormonal changes I was experiencing Pre Menstrual Symptoms like mood swings. Somehow it was becoming more and more difficult to deal with.

 

To end my misery, on the 14th day of the process, I got my eggs harvested and frozen.

It was a quick process; it all happened before I had my lunch. Then the next day I made the last visit to the clinic for a blood test to see if my hormone level was becoming normal.

It was only two weeks but felt much longer, I was really fed up with the morning drives and blood tests. Dan was very tired from driving for 3 hours or longer every other morning.

We were happy that it was all done and dusted.

 

However, that really wasn’t the end of it.

 

Two days after the egg retrieval, I started feeling a little odd. My belly was the biggest I had seen in all my life and it felt like there was a big water balloon inside. Also I was short of breath just walking upstairs, I felt bloated, dizzy and tired, and sometimes my eyes went blurry.

First I was a little panicked, thinking something went wrong. However, it really affected my emotional stability. I was upset, frustrated and miserable.

So, with great urgency, I called the fertility clinic and asked the nurse about what on earth was happening to my body. “Nothing to worry about,” the nurse replied. According to her, these symptoms normally appear when you have more than 25 eggs retrieved; which I did not. They had not told me in advance in order not to set unnecessary fear and worries in my mind.

 

“…Oh, ok. How long does it take for me to go back to normal?”

Full two weeks was all it took for me to start feeling normal. Though I started receiving chemotherapy at the end of the second week of these post egg retrieval symptoms, which was not great.

 

So what did I gained out of this ordeal? Security.

Security that, even if I become menopausal, I could still have a baby with the frozen eggs. With NHS funding it 100% to keep the eggs for the next 10 years, I could stop worrying about my fertility for once and get on with what was ahead of me… The chemo therapy and following cancer treatments.

Despite all the misery that it brought, I am glad I have gone through the process. Though, I have to say this isn’t for everybody. The consultant told me that some ladies had not chosen to go through it because they had been already quite overwhelmed by the whole cancer business.

I hope this post gives you a rough idea about the whole egg freezing process, and what to expect of it. (Though I feel guilty of having a massive rant!!!)

 

Breast-cancer-ribbon-coloring-sheet-clipartThanks for reading my blog,
but I hope this raises awareness of breast cancer in young women.

If you would like to help more people beat cancer sooner, please click this pink ribbon! It will lead you to Cancer Research UK website 🙂

I will see you in my next blog.

Bless you all!

H xx

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A Little Story About The Op

It felt quite odd when it was only few days left till the operation. I started having a lot of flash backs from my last hospital visit, which had been a life changing experience.

 

To briefly give you an idea,

I was involved in a traffic accident in 2013. It left me with multiple fractures in my pelvis and internal bleeding. I was imminently sent to the Queens Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham and thanks to their care, I was discharged 10 days after the accident.

I remembered having felt very unwell in the QMC, due to staying in bed without mobility and energy to even eat and having to take drugs so often. And of course, the pain… the very sharp memory of unbelievable pain sprung up in my head; which bothered me in my sleep a couple of nights before the operation.

However, the experience also gave me a helping hand in a number of aspects, which all pointed to positivity. Having been through one major surgery before, I felt pretty comfortable with the mastectomy and reconstruction operation. Also being mobile soon after the surgery made me feel more independent, able and confident than I had been in 2013.

At 9 O’Clock in the morning,

I was at the Medical Physics department to get an injection with this radio-active fluid, to track this one lymph node that cancer might have reached before everything else. My surgeon planned to take that lymph node for the biopsy, in order to see if cancer spread beyond my breast. It was not the most pleasant experience, but something that you would just want to get over with as quick as possible.

With my lovely parents in law joining me and Dan few hours later, it was time for me to head to the ward and get ready for the operation. Changing into the hospital gown and pulling up the white compression stockings up my calves, I tried to get myself mentally ready too.

It’s almost there, it will be done before I know, it will be all ok.

 

Watch B:W

 

I think it’s a rule,

that you need a tag around your wrist before going in to the theatre. Unfortunately though, one of the nurses forgot to give me the tag. So when the Anaesthetist was confirming all the information about my op, including my identification, he found out I was on loose.

So the tag hunt began.

The poor student nurse lady had to go everywhere to print my tag while I was having a nice chat about dogs with the Anaesthetist in the waiting room. She came back with one after a good few minutes, but it was a wrong one. Hence she had to go out again to print the right one. After another good few minutes she came back with great frustration on her face. With despair and desperation, she said…

“All the printing machines broke… can I please do hand write the tag?”

The Anaesthetist agreed, as she really tried her best for the last half an hour to get me this identity tag.

So she was back with the hand written tag- but on the wrong side of the wrist band! I could not put the wrist band together without making it so loose that it would fall through my hand. I felt so sorry for the lady. After some banter, the Anaesthetist decided to go with it as the op had been delayed quite a bit already. He told me not to drop the tag as we were walking to the theatre. I think we really had a good laugh there, which helped me relax.

 

IMG_3517

 

After the op,

I remember waking up in the recovery room. I was still half unconscious, but started talking to the nurse looking after me. I asked her questions like her name and made silly jokes as if I was drunk… embarrassing!!!!

Having my family waiting for me in the ward was my highlight of that day. It was so good to see everyone there.

 

There are few things I struggled with over night, after the op.

First. Sore throat
I couldn’t speak very well for the rest of the evening and had irritation in my throat. I was coughing a bit as well. It lasted about a week which was very annoying. Though, a pack of Ricola from the breast unit was very helpful.

Second. Bladder problem
It was so funny but also frustrating when I really needed to go to the loo, but had no results. Apparently it’s just feeling. It got better overnight as I tried multiple times, I think my body just needed time to wake up a little bit to function properly.

Third. Sickness
Everytime I got up to go to the loo I felt instantly sick and needed the sick bowl by my side. One time it was so bad, I sat by a window to have some fresh air. Then my whole body started to shake. I felt absolutely terrible. The nurses kept giving me anti-sickness injection every few hours over night so I could sleep.

I think they were all due to the anaesthesia and were only temporary. PHEW!

If you get to go through general anaesthetics I hope this gives you a rough idea of what to expect. Mind you, it may be dependent on individual physicality.

 

Breast-cancer-ribbon-coloring-sheet-clipartThanks for reading my blog,
but I hope this raises awareness of breast cancer in young women.

If you would like to help more people beat cancer sooner, please click this pink ribbon! It will lead you to Cancer Research UK website 🙂

I will see you in my next blog.

Bless you all!

H xx

 

Stranger Things by Breast Cancer

It is funny how suddenly your life focus takes a massive turn over an hour of a chat.

Until I went into the consultation room to hear the result of my breast screening, cancer had seemed so far from my life, like NOWHERE NEAR in my life.

Despite having relatives who had cancer in the past, I thought I was very safe from all that cancer stuff. Oh well, not any more!

The moment when the surgeon said I had BREAST CANCER, it imminently took the centre of my life. Everything has become dependent on cancer, and a few changes have happened since.

 

If I may list a few strange things that have happend since the news…

Firstly, my current life goal has become to cure the cancer. My priorities have changed within themselves as well, for instance career and house got downgraded on my priority list.

Secondly, having the breast cancer with all potential risks, it’s made me think about what I really want to do in my life, espeically while I am still young and free. I know some of you have set new years resolutions for 2018, but, instead, I have written down a list of life dreams such as to do a jazz duet with Dan (my husband) and to master Pilates.

Having heard that the potential further treatment may damage my fertility and been to the fertility clinic for an initial consultation, it’s also changed our perspective of the family plan. This has affected my emotional stability a lot, because its ethical aspect is beyond complicated. What is the right thing to do? Does it align with our core value? Will I, or will I not regret about it for the rest of my life? To face such a big question in the mist of cancer with a time limit is a big challenege. And I’m still not ready make a decision on it.

 

Mugonatable

Living with uncertainty

has encouraged me to stay more faithful to my Heavenly Father. It’s also made me focus on the present, instead of the future. Before the news I’d been  frequently wondering about the future: what kind of career path I should take, what kind of house I’d want to live in and where to go on my next holiday… My mind had always been a few months ahead of time. As a result I had overlooked the importance of appreciating things there and then.

But now, with cancer, I’ve started to look closer at my life here and now. People around me, things that I have, stuff that I am doing, where I live, and more. One thing I have gained through cancer is gratitude. It is quite a humbling experience, but also encourages me to be more content.

Another strange thing is that, the knowledge of my condition has given me a sharper sense of emotions. I’d always known social media could negetively affect your emotions but never taken an action on that. However, few weeks ago, I intentionally unfollowed a few instagram celebrities (?) who might have negative impacts on my emotions and further on to my self-esteem. I think that was a very wise move.

Not sure if it’s related to my sharper sense of emotions or something else, but the last strange thing that has happened to me is a change in my friendships. Interestingly, cancer drew some friends closer in to my life including new ones, but also drove a few others miles away, no matter how close the friendship was. Odd, right?

However I do NOT think it’s anyone’s fault. I think that, sadly, my freindship with them has come to an end of its season. And I hope soon a new season for them begins.

 

It feels stranger than ever

in many aspects to live with cancer… Uninvited guest in my life! but I still gotta remember to smile and be positive about it.

After all, it will leave me for good in the end.

Breast-cancer-ribbon-coloring-sheet-clipartThanks for reading my blog,
but I hope this raises awareness of breast cancer in young women.

If you would like to help more people beat cancer sooner, please click this pink ribbon! It will lead you to Cancer Research UK website 🙂

I will see you in my next blog.

Bless you all!

H xx

Breast Cancer At Age 27

I know it has been several months since the last time I wrote, and I was actually planning to come back with a blog about my summer holiday trip in Italy…

However, Breast Cancer happened.

 

didyouknow2

In October 2017,

I felt this lump in my left breast, just under the skin. It felt as if I had some vein blockage so I went to the local GP with a suspicion.

The GP suggested that it probably was benign, but I booked another appointment in three weeks to make sure.

Three weeks later I was back to the GP with the same problem. I was reffered to the breast unit for an Ultra Sound scan and Mammogram. Both the local GP and the surgeon at the breast unit seemed very relaxed and quite confidently said that it would be nothing. Even after mammogram the surgeon told me that the worst case still wouldn’t be cancer. I think it is because having breast cancer at young age is very rare especially without any family history of breast cancer.

I was asked to come back to the hospital the next day for a biopsy, to take samples of some of the breast tissue to assure it was benign.

After a week of wait, one afternoon in November, I visited the breast unit for the third time, also hopefully the last time, with my husband.

“Mrs H!” I heard. Ok, let’s make it quick and go home.

In to the consultation room, and a few minutes later a different surgeon came in. After explaining what I had been through so far to Dan, he broke the news.

“The biopsy results show … cancer.”

“…What?”

Somehow my brain filtered some of his words so I had to ask him to repeat.

“It is… breast cancer.”

“Is it? What?”

 

“IT IS BREAST CANCER.”

Everything went a little blur for a moment.

 

Question and information

 

The surgeon started to give us a supposedly brief explanation of what to expect in the future, though it was actually quite long and extremely overwhelming. There were an immense number of ifs and buts, potentials and risks, and options. One of the potentials was having further treatments, like chemotherapy. They did not know whether I needed any further treatment on that stage so would have to wait until the mastectomy operation.

According to the surgeon, the initial lump was actually benign. However, the cancer tissues were too tiny to feel but spread all over my left breast- hence the full mastectomy.

 

I could no longer hold my tears,

when the surgeon told me that I might lose fertility. It’s only a possibility, but still a possibility. As I happened to be one of only few women with breast cancer at young age, every possibility felt as to be quite prophetic.

With all the information bombarding my little brain, I had a moment of doubt that I might be dreaming. It just felt too odd. What do you mean, I have cancer? I am healthy as ever, at least I feel healthy as ever! What? Why? I was so, so confused. I also felt some sort of guilt thinking of my mum. Why do I have to make her go through this, after all that she has gone through…

Dan and I spent the evening telling the news to our family and few of close friends, and trying to take in what we had heard.

That was a long, long day.

One thing we definitely knew though, was that this was just the beginning of a new chapter that would be life changing.

 

Breast-cancer-ribbon-coloring-sheet-clipartThanks for reading my somewhat dark and upsetting blog,
but I hope this raises awareness of breast cancer in young women.

I will see you in my next blog, about changes in life by breast cancer.

Bless you all!

H xx

 

18 months to an independence

Long have I waited for this moment; I am a fully licensed driver at last!

It took 18 months from my hubby dragging me to my first driving lesson to my first independent drive. I know it is a very long time, as some of my friends passed their driving test after less than 10 hours of lessons. How many hours of lessons did I need? Somewhere between 30 and 50 is my guess. Oh and I took 3 driving tests.

For the past 18 months, I had to face quite a lot of challenges: small, big, and critical ones.

 

Finding the motivation was the first challenge.

I was pretty happy not being able to drive. I didnt find it particularly inconvenient either as I never had that convenience before. So it was very difficult to find a reason to try; my hubby did find a few reasons though.

Being able to drive means you have more independence, especially if you live in a countryside.

The public transport is very limited around where I live, and I only have a 4 hour window a day to go out because of my lovely puppy. Hence, I needed my hubby for the weekly grocery shops, hospital appointments, vet appointments and so on.

Talking about how difficult it is for me to do all the businesses without his help, Dan, my dear husband, also suggested it would be even more difficult when we have a child. Fair enough, I agreed. So I booked, no actually, Dan booked a driving lesson for me.

 

Tripping over the trauma

The first 15 lessons, if not more, were an intense mental fight against my trauma.

I got hit by a lorry in the past; so driving in front of, next to, behind a lorry was a incredibly terrifying. I screamed a few times, and prayed many many times. Aggressive drivers got my nerves too, of course.

I still do not feel completely comfortable driving around those cars, but at least I don’t get any panic attack anymore. Progress!

 

Walking over my own failure

I found it so hard when I made mistakes during the lessons. Roundabouts, junctions, meets, gears and mirrors… The message “People make mistakes all the time” took a while to properly sink in, but eventually I understood it and learnt to embrace my mistakes.

However, failing the driving test was something else. It is a not a mistake, it is FAIL.

I don’t like taking tests in general; I become super anxious and a little overwlemed by the pressure, especially when I want a perfect score. That’s probably most time.

The first test was horrendous. “Unfortunately, you weren’t successful.” I was very upset and angry, because I thought I could pass! The second test was booked straight away.

The second test was better, but I made the same major mistake. This time again, I thought I could pass so was very disheartened. I also felt ashamed.

Failing once is acceptable, but twice?! My confidence was knocked down. Oh gosh, maybe I am not supposed to drive.

Though I still had courage to book another one later that month.

 

Relatable stories as encouragements

Everytime I failed, lots of people gave me a piece of advice. Some helped, and some didn’t.

Advices that didn’t help me at all were like, “Go for a drive lots, get used to the roads”. I had been driving for the past 18 months, I knew why I failed and how I could improve. I know they gave me adives because they cared, but good intensions do not always come across as good deeds.

It gave me more encouragement when I talked to people who had failed their driving test(s) in the past. “Don’t worry, I took 3 times too.” “That’s ok, most people fail at least once.” “Someone I know took 5 times.”

I have to mention, Dan encouraged me more than anyone in this and he was the one who had closely wathed me progress in my driving. So his words were empowering. “It’s ok, just keep going until you pass.” “I believe in you.” “You will get it next time.”

“You are a good driver.”

After a number of drivng lessons and practices, and 3 driving tests, now I am an independent, fully licensed, driver.

I am glad to finally have closed this 18-month long chapter and opened a new one.

If you have failed your driving test(s), and are disheartened by it… I do understand how you feel… it’s horrible! But remember, you are a good driver. Keep going until you get it. You will get it.

 

Love,

xx

Sorry, you have been disconnected.

 

My understanding of friendship is something natural and organic, so when its season ends you have to let it go; though, it may be in a hibernation for how many years until its another season begins.

It’s mainly because, I think, a friendship requires both of you and the other to keep it growing. If it loses the balance, then even one person doing CPR on it wouldn’t bring it back. I remember feeling quite sad to let a friendship come to an end because of that loss of balance, but I knew forcing it would make things even worse.

I am used this sort of stuff because…

I have moved a lot since I was 20.

I’ve moved eight times for the past 7 years and I am getting ready for my 9th move later this year. Moving over to England was a big one, then I kept moving from one house to another, from a city to another, and even a county to another.

With moving, I have made a number of friends in Korea, London, University and few other towns that I lived after my graduation. I also naturally lost connection with lots of them by moving away and starting a new chapter… which is fine!

BUT social media has changed the look of this.

Social media shows you what they have been up to, who they have been with, and where they have been- and guess what,

YOU ARE NOT IN THERE.

You have never been invited back to their life again since the disconnection. Do you know why? You weren’t that important to them. You weren’t a good friend to them and you do not matter. That is how they think of you. NOBODY.

Of course, this is NOT true.

Most of my friendship with them naturally ended up in a disconnection, with or without a reason.

The combination of social media’s exposure of my disconnected friends’ news, the fear of missing out and my desire to be loved by everyone creates this false message of how unimportant I am.

Social media almost brings that sense of gossip to relationships, by being the medium of personal messages. Despite how open you can be on social media, you lose the closeness when you depend on social media to share your life with others. It’s inclusive, but also exclusive. You may share my special moments, that you weren’t invited into. You may look at it, but you are not allowed to touch it.

 

Any solution to this?

A simple one would be… get out and have a life. But we all know how deep social media is related to our everyday life, so it would be very difficult to simply cut down your time on it.

 

Reading, writing, listening, meditating and/or being active,

instead of scrolling down on facebook/instagram, is something I currently am trying. Watching is a very easy alternative, which I am good at it; but that has its own risks and danger, hence, not included.

Another important step forward is, probably to be ok with the disconnection; like, actually okay, not just pretending. Though, I think it depends on every single person in your friendships; I found some disconnections harder to take than others, because of how much I liked them and cared about the friendships. All subjective.

I doubt I will avoid that initial sadness when facing another disconnection in the future. However, to know that they still remain my friends and that I should cherish those flourishing friendships will help me live in the moment and embrace the disconnection.

On that note… I send my Thanks to my old & new friends, for making my life full of beautiful colours. 

Thank you for reading, and bless you today.

xx

My 5th blog … with hope

I must say this is like my 5th blog that I have started, if I remember correctly. The past blogs lost their place in my heart, though I am still keeping the last one for its potential.

My 5th blog.

I am an idea person, and very good at starting something. When an idea strikes my brain, I feel electric and cannot wait to start making this idea real. I work on it passionately. I think about it day and night.

However, I am NOT so good at finishing what I have started. The passion somehow fades away. There is this fairy in my head who comes along and switching things off. It is difficult to explain WHY these ideas die out before they reach the reality to bear fruits, but it happens.

And oh, the shame!

I really hate giving up, so everytime that switching off happens the shame hits me hard. “You are giving up AGAIN.” “Shame on you.” “Is there anything that you actually finish?”

“You have failed.”

It really hurts.

Though the funny thing is, no one eles actually says that to me, but myself. I think to myself, “People will think I am…….” and add all sorts of horrible things and believe that is true. The social pressure that is almost fake, has been put on me by my own self.

After my passion faded away on the 4th, I set a time to figure out WHY it didn’t work this time. WHAT IS WRONG?

Then one thought pops up in my head- I was trying to please other people, ignoring myself. I wanted other people to like it, so gave it a renovation work, knocking few core pillars down; People like a clear theme, weekly posts, cool photos and tips to take away.

All for what? SO MORE PEOPLE VISIT MY BLOG AND LIKE ME.

For that glory, I did rush rush and rush a dozen of things at once. Trying to sprint a marathon with more weight on my shoulders every mile did exhaust me very quickly. Simplicity was lost somewhere in the process and my pleasure of writing dried out.

Ah.

Yes, I know there are some people who enjoy and are good at writing for a certain target audience with all sorts of social media, and become successful with it- but that is NOT me.

I like writing up what is in my head in my own time and in my own words, and it may not be the mainstream or the conventional blog style… and now I realise,

that is okay.

Life may take me away from this blog, like it did to the past ones, then drag its season to an end; but that is fine too.

Quite often I let things that aren’t important bully my mind and damage my soul, which has got to stop NOW. It will take time and effort but I will be more intentional to liberate myself from them.

Anyway, with all those new season resolutions I am happy to start a new blog, where I can be completely myself and blossom my beatiful & wild self.

You are very welcome to be part of this season. I am glad you are here with me.

Thank you for reading, and bless you today.

xx